Building habits to be a better writer pt. 2: write daily

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
by Lisa Manni Juniper

The best way to get better at anything is through lots (and lots) of practice. If you want to improve your writing, write more! Many successful authors advocate daily writing, but how can you get into the habit of writing every day?

● Set goals

A great way to start and keep yourself writing is to set goals for yourself and hold yourself accountable to them. Maybe your goal is to write something every day, regardless of length. Maybe you’ll aim to write a certain amount by the end of the week or month. Whether you choose a short-term or long-term goal, having one in place will help keep you on track as you start your writing journey.

● Editing and revision count as writing

Depending on what you choose to write, not every day will require you to write something entirely new. Some days will be spent writing, some editing, and some revising or re-working your writing. The thought of writing every day can be intimidating, but remember that you’re committing time to the writing process.

● Find a medium that inspires you

A lot of people use media that will encourage them to write often such as diaries or blogs; these options can provide more structure to your new writing regime since they are based on recurrence. You should also consider whether you prefer to write with pen & paper or on a computer; each medium lends itself well to certain things but more poorly for others. For example, you may be able to type down your ideas faster on a computer, but you might have an easier time organizing them with pen and paper by drafting up a quick chart or an idea web.

Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Before you start, it is a good idea to consider whether you want to write fiction or non-fiction. Each will demand different things of you. Non-fiction, particularly if it is a personal narrative, will likely take the form of more reflective, introspective writing – not unlike that of a diary entry. This type of writing will require you to reflect on your experiences and knowledge to produce a meaningful story or reflection. Fiction will demand much more imagination and, potentially, creativity. It will likely require more foresight in narrative development (i.e. a sense of where the story is going to go) since there is no historical linkage to refer back to like there is in non-fiction. Of course, it is a good idea to include both in your repertoire, since it will encourage you to develop the skills required for each.